I confess, I am an idea generator. I love talking and planning and dreaming about “someday.” But lately something has been happening to my heart, it’s a desire to do something, an urgency for action. But at the same time my dreams, plans, and to-dos, these things that I talk about doing, have begun changing radically. And these words from David in Psalm 39 were like throwing gasoline on a fire.
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.”
Can I just tell you how many days I have felt like a shadow? Rushing around only to sit down at the end of the day and wonder what actually got accomplished? To be fair, dinner does need to be made, the laundry absolutely needs done, and as much as I would love to just live in a paper-plate-no-dishes-to-be-done-ever-again-house it isn’t a real expectation. Raising a family is a lot of work, and very important work too! But recently, my heart has begun to bear a new burden. The imprint of a new heartache has begun to take shape.
In March of this year I began praying in a different way. I began asking God what He wanted for me, or from me instead of consistently the other way around. This is a terrifying prayer when you realize that he has begun to move, that you heart is actually being changed. It’s a terrifying realization when you accept that you would be willing to walk away from your current life, answering the call of “not my will, but thine, be done.” Because these are not my dreams, these are God’s dreams for me. It’s when you look around and realize that there is so much that you haven’t seen before when viewed through the eyes of Jesus. It’s when you realize the discontentment you, your husband, and children have been fighting could be for a bigger purpose and you pray for their eyes to be opened to all that you are now seeing. You begin to pray that their hearts find rhythm with yours, a beat of love, because there is so much evil in the world, so much hurt, and you can’t save everyone but what if it’s just one? Even just one would be worth it. Andy Stanley said, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”
Current conditions on the Greece-Macedonia border are cold and rainy. Due to the situation on Lesvos in Greece, Samaritan’s Purse predicts that approximately 20,000 refugees will attempt to cross the border in the next few days. Infants are wrapped in plastic bags to protect them from the rain. Clothing is inadequate even for current temperatures, much less dropping temperatures that will follow in the next few weeks. Soon it will not be possible for people to sleep outdoors as they will be at significant risk of hypothermia, particularly infants, young children, and the elderly. (Samaritan’s Purse Responding to Refugee Crisis in Europe, 9/10/15)
Children are being wrapped in plastic bags to be kept dry and warm while we debate which coat to wear. It’s so much easier to stick your head in the sand (I am great at this) and to pretend that if you don’t know it’s happening it isn’t. However, a lack of knowledge does not alter the reality of the situation. If you have the stomach and desire, Ann VosKamp shares her experiences from her trip to Iraq in this post from May, 2015. It broke my heart, sickened me, and has impacted me in ways I can’t even put into words. Basically, it has haunted me since I read it 4 months ago – consider yourself warned.
This is but a drop in the bucket and it’s not just “out in the world”, it’s in our cities, our neighborhoods, in our very own backyards.
“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father.” (Ephesians 3:14) And I feel compelled by an urgency. I have to move beyond my good intentions to a life marked by action. I don’t want my busy rushing to end in nothing.
And all of a sudden this afternoon I found myself singing an old Garth Brooks song,
This heart still believes
That love and mercy still exist
While all the hatreds rage
And so many say
“That love is all but pointless,
In madness such as this
“It’s like trying to stop a fire
With the moisture from a kiss”
And I hear them saying,
“You’ll never change things
And no matter what you do
It’s still the same thing”
But it’s not the world that I am changing
I do this so, this world will know
That it will not change me
(The Change, Garth Brooks)
Let’s start more than a conversation, let’s start a movement. Shout to the world that you will not be changed, that you will not ignore the hurt, that Jesus through us, in love and mercy, will prevail. Find your passion, grab hold of it, and use it to make a difference, if only just in one life! It’s scary amazing what God can do with a willing body!
This was the prayer that Abide delivered to my phone this morning. It was amazingly appropriate…
Dear Jesus Christ,
I want to be a part of what you are doing in the world today. I believe you want to use me right now. I want to return to my first love, to you. I want to be your hands and feet this very second. Help me to believe and live by my convictions with every beat of my heart today. In your merciful name. Amen
Here I am. Send me.